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Gay Rights Activists Targeting Mozilla Firefox

Gay Rights Activists Targeting Mozilla Firefox

This month, users of OkCupid are discovering that the next company up for destruction by gay rights groups appears to be the Internet browser Firefox, as visitors to the dating website who use the popular web browser get a warning message informing them that the CEO of the browser company is “an opponent of equal rights for gay couples.”

At the end of March, Brendan Eich was appointed as the new CEO of Mozilla, the tech company that made the Firefox web browser. Eich was a logical choice. As the creator of Javascript–a program that serves as an important part of many web browsers–he was also the co-founder of Mozilla.

But gay activists are unhappy with the choice. When Eich was the company’s chief technology officer, he donated $1,000 to the 2008 campaign for California’s Prop 8, the California Marriage Protection Act, a constitutional amendment which defended traditional, man-woman marriage.

This donation came to light in 2012 when activists began to use donor lists from the Prop 8 campaign to “out” supporters of traditional marriage.

Once Eich was chosen to lead Mozilla, some employees of the company took to social media to attack their new boss.

Those attacks led to dating website OkCupid’s warning to Firefox users that the web browser’s creator is a homophobe.

Mozilla has defended its choice and affirmed that it is committed to “honouring diversity in sexual orientation.”

For his part, Eich has also hastened to explain that he is not a homophobe.

“[It is] my personal commitment to work on new initiatives to reach out to those who feel excluded or who have been marginalised in ways that makes their contributing to Mozilla and to open source difficult,” he said.

He went on to say,

I know some will be sceptical about this, and that words alone will not change anything. I can only ask for your support to have the time to ‘show, not tell’; and in the meantime express my sorrow at having caused pain.

You will see exemplary behaviour from me toward everyone in our community, no matter who they are; and the same toward all those whom we hope will join, and for those who use our products. Mozilla’s inclusive health benefits policies will not regress in any way. And I will not tolerate behaviour among community members that violates our Community Participation Guidelines or (for employees) our inclusive and non-discriminatory employment policies.

Eich isn’t alone as a recent target.

Earlier in the month, gay advocacy groups targeted liberal journalist Ezra Klein for hiring a gay Christian to be a writer for his newly launched Vox news website. Gay activists called him a “homophobe” and demanded that Klein fire the newly hired writer.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at igcolonel@hotmail.com.

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